Southern Night!

Reading all of the Foodbuzz Project Food Blog entries for the 2nd Challenge, I began to think about a cuisine that was out of my comfort zone. Sure, I’ve never cooked anything from Africa, nor have I cooked a lot of foods from South America, but I realized I’d never even made some of the things from my own country – Gumbo, clam chowder, and southern friend chicken. So when I had an amazing amount of leftover buttermilk after making my Crispy Sage and Caramelized Shallot Mac & Cheese, I decided it was time to make some Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Buttermilk Biscuits. And boooy was it good!

Read on for recipes and photos…Yeehaw!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

Ingredients (makes enough for at least 2 meals for 2 people)

1 3lb. fryer, or various thighs, drumsticks and breasts
2 cups buttermilk
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, thyme) or a teaspoon each of the dried herbs.
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
2 cups safflower, sunflower, canola, or veggie oil (any oil that has a high burning point – NOT olive oil)

Directions

  • Soak chicken overnight (at least 8 hours and up to two days) in buttermilk with onions, herbs, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  • In a large paper or plastic (sturdy) bag, mix flour with seasonings.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 cups oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron, stainless steel, or anodized aluminum – something that can take the heat) on medium high heat until a pinch of flour starts to sizzle when dropped in the hot oil (but not so hot that the pan is smokingIf it’s too hot, the chicken will fry too fast and not cook all the way through).
  • Place chicken pieces in bag with flour and shake until thoroughly coated. Add chicken to hot pan and fry on 1 side for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, and then use tongs to turn the pieces over and fry for another 10-12 minutes, again until golden brown.
  • Use tongs to remove chicken from pan. Place on a baking sheet or large plate lined with paper towels.
  • Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  • I kept the onions that had soaked with the chicken, shook them with the flour and seasonings, and fried them up, too. They made a nice addition to the potatoes and gave flavor to the collards!

Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold

3/4 cup buttermilk, about

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and use a pastry cutter to combine.
  • Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk (I had to add about 1/8 cup more).
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
  • Very gently pat (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1/2″ thick.
  • Use a round cutter to cut into rounds (I used the top of a tumbler).
  • You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
  • Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other. If you like”crusty” sides, put them about 1 inch apart. I’d recommend putting them together as they rise better.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.

I’ve always had trouble with biscuits being too dense and not rising enough but these were flaky, fluffy perfection. I think the key is really to handle the dough as little as possible and to pat them into the thickness you need as opposed to rolling…

Serve up some mashed potatoes, some pepper spicy collard greens, your fried chicken, your biscuits, and top it all off with some fried onions and you got a southern night waiting for you on your table!!

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Comments
One Response to “Southern Night!”
  1. John Stolen says:

    omgg sounds amazingg!!

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